Blue Drill Shirts


You may recall that a few years ago, the NSW RFS started supplying RFS Staff with yellow shirts. The yellow shirts were not received well by volunteers.

Volunteers in rural areas struggle to get any type of shirt, then the service changed to a yellow one. There was not much consultation with volunteers or staff before the yellow shirts were introduced.

The RFSA continued to make available the RFS badged blue drill shirts at a cost of $54.00 and there are many volunteers who were happy to pay for their own shirt or shirts.

The RFS has now stopped the RFSA from procuring any further deliveries of the blue drill shirts from Stewart & Heaton.

This forces volunteers (who like to wear a badged shirt) with limited options:

1. Wear the much despised and incredibly unpopular “Free” Yellow Shirts (sorry to those rural Districts with limited budgets)

2. Forget the RFS badge and wear plain shirts.

The RFSA is planning to buy up any remaining stock and are no longer allowed to sell RFS badged versions of the blue shirts once stocks have run out.

The comment (below) has been published on the RFSA Shop’s main web page:


Following a decision by the NSW RFS to not renew the contract with the supplier for the production of blue

drill shirts, the Association has purchased all available stock held by the supplier.

These shirts will all be made available to our Members.

When this stock is sold there will be no further issues of this item available.

7 Replies to “Blue Drill Shirts”

  1. Hi

    Is it still possible to purchase the blue drill shirt??
    I think they are the most sensible drill shirt for general use both in the station or the fire ground.
    I would love to get a couple of the large size please.

  2. Laurie

    We are getting low on our stocks of blue shirts but we are looking at an “on-demand” option with a supplier who is prepared to create “one-offs” at a reasonable price + postage.

    I have sent your request to the appropriate person, provided that we have your size, I’m sure that we can help out.

    Expect a private email…

  3. Some time back I contacted the Commissioners office concerning the forced withdrawal of the blue drill shirt in favour of the yellow, In the subsequent response I was informed that “testing had shown the yellow shirt to afford 4.8% more (thermal) protection than the blue and whilst this did not appear much it was a significant amount” I did consider the explanation lacked substance given the article in question is covered when on the fireline.
    Following the announcement that the new generation of PPC would include dark blue pants to replace the yellow I contacted the Service reminding them of the above response and asking if the same rationale had been applied . Three months and no answer. Now perhaps the supplier has discovered a new material that does give equal protection no matter what the colour is. If that is the case then perhaps the blue shirt issue could be revisited? Just a thought.

  4. Hi is it still possible to buy the blue drill shirts???
    Definitely a safer shirt in my opinion!

  5. Nathan
    It is NOT possible to get an official NSW RFS blue drill shirt.
    The blue shirt debacle included stories that one colour was safer than the other but now they are going away from wearing your yellows (over trousers) and they are supplying blue drill trousers.
    It used to be a blue shirts with yellow trousers, now it is a yellow shirt with blue trousers.
    Go Figure…

  6. Nathan,

    We have been told that the yellow shirts are not suitable on the fire ground, and that we should wear cotton shirts. I prefer to wear my cotton work shirt, usually green, blue or tan, often ripped and patched, as this signals that I am a rural (as in RFS) chap off the land and not a wantabe in the current SFS (Suburban Fire Service). Have you noticed that more and more SOP/rules are designed for those not working in a rural environment… such as having to do RFD and ORD despite having a HC licence for 40 years and driving my own 4×4 and truck all over the hills for many many years without an accident.

  7. I’ll keep wearing my blue cotton drill shirt while I remain a member of my local brigade.

    No ‘white shirt’ RFS bureaucrat is going to tell me what to wear under my PPE.

    Only a useful idiot or sycophant would fail to recognise the breathtaking RFS hypocrisy on this issue.

    It should come as no surprise that recent photographs of volunteers appearing in the bushfire bulletin are selectively screened to showcase the yellow shirt.

    Is this an orchestrated attempt to indoctrinate and normalize acceptance of the yellow shirt amongst the rank and file?

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